From my reading of industry journals, marketers appear to be obsessed with following formulas.
In order to find the right formula for inbound marketing success, dozens of smaller formulas must be factored. There’s a formula for when to send an email newsletter, a formula for how long a video should run, and a formula for how many words to put in a blog post.
As with all rules, it pays to know the rules before/if you break them.
Make Your Website The Definitive Source
According to Hubspot your website needs lots of content to be an effective led generation machine:
Businesses with websites that have 401-1000 web pages get six times more leads than those with 51-100 pages. By creating more offers and blog articles, you create more opportunities to rank in search engines.
Bonehook.com—the site you’re reading now—has but 318 Google Indexed Pages at this time. Does this mean we’re not generating enough high quality online leads precisely because we don’t offer enough relevant, timely content to prospects and current customers via this website? I’m willing to entertain the thought.
I’m also pleased to know that 401-1000 web pages is the ideal count for commercial sites with the express intention of generating leads. Producing 401-1000 high quality web pages is a big task that takes years, not months, and it’s the work we do for clients.
It’s not just depth that matters. Medium studied the ideal post length for their site and found that posts that take seven minutes to read are best. In another analysis, Buffer found that its ideal post length is 2,500 words, and that posts of 1,600 words is a good place “to get started.”
Naturally, there are glaring exceptions to this rule. Seth Godin’s blog—where posts are often under 200 words—being one of the more notable short-form success stories.
Know Where Your Best Leads Come From
Another thing to consider is how to weigh the lead generation options before you. While inbound marketing is an effective approach, and one I employ for myself and my clients, it’s one of a handful of options.
Does your company employ a sales team? Is the company run by a well known industry influencer? Can prospects interact with the company at events and/or sample the product before buying it? All of these things, in addition to working one’s own personal and professional networks for leads, distributes the duties in an even way.
I get a lot of cold call requests from specialist firms offering to call potential leads on my behalf. I like the concept of reaching out directly and consistently. But cold calling, even when it’s not me doing the calling, is hard for me to believe in. Aside from the interruption, buying marketing services is far from a random process. Converting a qualified lead in my world requires a high degree of touch. Generally speaking, clients need to meet me and I need to meet them.
When In the Sales Cycle Do Prospects Seek Content?
A friend and fellow copywriter called me on the phone recently to chat (and to ask me about leveraging LinkedIn for his agency). He wondered if most of my business comes as a result of my personal and professional network, not this website or Bonehook’s social media presence. The answer is yes. Which begs the question, do I really need to boost my page count by hundreds more pages here to generate quality leads?
My take is yes, even though I’m not in a hurry to do so. This website does play a critical role in new business development. I just rely on offline triggers to activate someone’s online interest. When that happens, the person may visit this site (after meeting me) to learn more about what I’m doing and how this business operates, which then becomes part of their ongoing set of considerations for when and whether to employ Bonehook’s services.
Note: This post is just over 700 words long, well short of the benchmarks set by others. Does that mean it won’t be shared as widely? Does it mean I failed to get my point across (because I didn’t needlessly repeat myself)? Let’s see…